Why You Should Transition into Intermittent Fasting
By Alexis Mills
If you haven't heard of intermittent fasting before, it might sound a little intimidating. I know it did for me! But even as a beginner, I found it to be much easier than I imagined and it definitely improved my health and eating habits.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that melds fasting and eating in which you simply eat during a specific time and you fast the rest of the time. This is not about starving yourself, it is about getting on an eating schedule and sticking to it. In my case, I chose to not eat until 10 a.m., and only have coffee and water until then. The hours between the previous night's dinner and eating at 10 a.m. is considered the fasting. There are many different schedules or types of intermittent fasting, but incorporating it has shown to have powerful benefits to health when mixed with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Reasons You Should Start
- Lose weight - Most people who decide to use intermittent fasting do so because they want to lose weight and they're hoping to do it fast. You will be eating fewer meals and the amount of food you eat, and increasing your metabolism.
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes - If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, intermittent fasting is something to consider to help fight against it. It can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels.
- Better overall health - With the possibility to improve heart health, and help prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease, intermittent fasting has the power to help many aspects of our health.
If you are currently eating three meals with snacks, try to start with cutting out the snacks between your meals. Once you have gotten used to cutting out snacks, try to adjust to eating within a 10-hour window. Don't push yourself past your limits and be mindful to what your body is telling you throughout this period. It is a transition to get adjusted to limiting your eating times.
The intermittent fasting that I schedule three times a week is a 16:8 routine. This means there are 16 hours of fasting and eight hours in which I'm able to eat. For me, my eating period begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m., which means I fast for the rest of the night and into the morning. Also, it's OK to drink water, coffee, and green tea between meals. Personally, I start off my morning with lemon water followed by coffee, then another glass of water before I eat at 10 a.m. For people who have a hectic schedule, it may be hard to incorporate this type of eating schedule. Be easy on yourself and give your body some time to adjust through the transition. Find what works best for your health, schedule, and lifestyle.
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